It is necessary to start the study process regarding the implementation of trams in Nicosia and Limassol, according to Nicosia mayor Constantinos Yiorkadjis.
He was speaking to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) on the occasion of European mobility week, which came to an end on Friday.
He said “the creation of a tram is a one-way street. People often say that a tram is not sustainable because of the financial data, but when the social aspect of the matter is added, the social and environmental and other benefits the tram can provide prove it is viable.”
He added, “it is imperative to start a study process for its implementation.”
In addition, he said the “entire goal of European mobility week is to raise awareness so we can change our habits together, ensuring a better future for these children where there will be less pollution and the environment will be cleaner.”
He said he aims to use education to “create a new culture with new habits.”
However, the Green party’s Efi Xanthou was less than convinced by the announcement. Speaking to the Cyprus Mail she said “we have heard them say this for so many years. One such study has been conducted already.”
She referenced the Nicosia integrated mobility masterplan, which “supposedly took into account a tram line”, but said that if they were serious, they would carry out a thorough study and take more parameters into account.
“They need to look at the costs, the quality and width of the roads they would use, the energy required. The energy is a really important point to make, because trams need a lot of electricity to run, and our electricity still comes from fossil fuels”, she said.
She added, “they haven’t even made a good system for buses. There are no adequate bus stops, the costs are exorbitant for those who use them.”
“This is supposed to be a unified approach, but if you already have a cheaper system, the buses, and can’t use them correctly, I’m frankly scared for what would happen if we had trams. If they aren’t run correctly, they will cost the municipality an exorbitant amount”, she said.
She added, “if they wanted to have good public transport, they would.”
Environment commissioner Maria Panayiotou also spoke to CNA regarding European mobility week, saying people in Nicosia had “had the opportunity to come to the European mobility week events and be informed while children can discover alternative methods of mobility in a playful manner.”
She added that European mobility week is celebrated in 1,500 cities across the European Union.